Where Same-Sex Attraction Originates; and Where It Ends

This excerpt from John Piper begins as the 10:52 mark of this week's sermon.

Here's the transcript:

Same-sex desires and same-sex orientation are part of our broken and disordered sexuality owing to the God’s subjection of the created order to futility because of man’s sin.

In Genesis 2 we read about the catastrophic moment when the first man and woman rebelled against God. The effects on them and on the world are described in chapters 2 and 3, and then illustrated in the sin-soaked and death-ridden history of the Old Testament, indeed all of history.

The apostle Paul gives the key interpretation of what happened there and its effect on us. Here's his key word from Romans 8:20–21: “The creation was subjected to futility [this is God's response to human rebellion], not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope [so this is God who did this. The devil didn't subject it to hope. God cursed creation. We read that in Genesis 3] 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God."

And then, maybe one of the most important verses in the Bible for my understanding of almost everything I deal with in the brokenness of my life, my marriage, my children, this church, this world. Romans 8:23, goes like this. . . , and the point is that Paul is looking at the Romans in the face, as it were, who are about to say back to him, "Oh yes, the curse fell on the world and the whole creation was subjected, but we have been redeemed!" And here's his response to that:

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)

And I am arguing that same-sex desires and same-sex orientation are in that category of groaning — waiting for the redemption of our bodies. Which means they are in the same broad category with all kinds of disordered bodies and minds and emotions.

If we tried to make a list of the emotional and mental and physical brokenness of the human family the list would be unending. And all of us are broken and disordered in different ways. All of you, without exception, are bent towards desiring what you ought not to desire. I could document mine. Desires. We have not gotten to behavior yet. We are all disordered in our emotions, or minds, our bodies. We groan. We groan! And the damage we do waiting. Waiting for our final, full, complete adoption — the redemption of our whole bodies, brains, emotion, will.

This is a call for careful distinctions lest you hurt people — or yourself — unnecessarily. All our disorders — all our brokenness — is rooted in sin, original sin and our sinful nature. All of it. But, to be caused by a sinful nature, and rooted in sin, doesn't make a disorder equal to sinning.

Let me say it a little differently, because our language here just has to be so careful. It is not wrong, but I think proper to say, all of our disordered desires that are going after things we shouldn't go after are sinful desires — sinful meaning they are rooted in sin, and they are contaminated and disorderd, they're bent.

 

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. He is also the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.